Old wounds have been reopened 10 years after President Jacob Zuma’s rape trial, with “Khwezi”, the woman who claimed he had raped her, back in the spotlight.
Since the silent protest at the Independent Electoral Commission’s results centre in Pretoria during the announcement of local government election results, the woman at the centre of that trial has again been brought to the fore in unexpected ways.
She will be in the midst of a trial this week – a damages claim for R1 million instituted by former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils against Deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.
It’s a face-off between a former commander of MK, and the head of the MK Military Veterans Association (MKMVA).
Kasrils wants R500 000 as he alleges that Maphatsoe accused him of being the driving force behind the rape charges instituted against Zuma by Khwezi.
He is claiming a further R500 000 because he claims Maphatsoe suggested he was a sell-out, counter-revolutionary and an enemy of the people.
According to court papers, Maphatsoe was quoted in the media in 2014 as saying that “when he (Kasrils) was minister of intelligence, he dismissed most of the cadres of MK because he wanted to sell our intelligence to the imperials during our reconstruction”.
“It is clear from the beginning that Uncle Ronnie has never been with us, he has been the enemy of our revolution.”
It is also stated in the summons that he made a statement to the effect that Kasrils prompted the accuser to lay the rape charge 10 years ago. She was vilified and left the country while Zuma was acquitted.
The statements were made, according to the summons, with the intention to defame Kasrils and injure his reputation. In January last year Kasrils said he demanded a public apology from Maphatsoe, as well as a retraction of the statements, but he refused to do so.
Kasrils will be assisted by Advocate Dali Mpofu in his claim. The trial was set down for the entire week. Maphatsoe has denied any wrongdoing in his plea filed in court and intends defending the claim.
According to him, the MKMVA made the statement through him as its national chairman. He also said the statements had been true and in the public interest.
Maphatsoe denied that he made any statements to the effect that Kasrils was behind the rape charges against Zuma and said the former minister would have to prove this in court.